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Kristaps Porzingis pours in 34 as Mavs blitz Blazers

Sportsnaut
Dec 27, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) looks to pass while defended by Dallas Mavericks center Moses Brown (9, right) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) looks to pass while defended by Dallas Mavericks center Moses Brown (9, right) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis exploded for a season-best 34 points Monday night and the Dallas Mavericks, playing without Luka Doncic, gradually pulled away from the host Portland Trail Blazers for a 132-117 triumph.

Dwight Powell chipped in with 22 points for the Mavericks, who ended a two-game losing streak by earning just their seventh win in the past 20 games.

Damian Lillard paced the Trail Blazers with 26 points.

In the first of three scheduled meetings this season, Dallas never trailed after Powell drilled a 3-pointer for a 5-3 lead.

The Mavericks went on to lead by as many as nine in the first period, 19 in the second and 26 in the third before emptying the bench.

Porzingis’ 34 points were a product of 12-for-21 shooting overall and 3-for-7 on 3-point attempts. Both teams made 12 treys in the game, but the Mavericks did so in eight fewer attempts (40-32).

Porzingis’ scoring output was his highest since going for 36 points in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans in February. His career high is 40, set in November 2017 against the Indiana Pacers while he was with the New York Knicks.

Brandon Knight came off the bench to score 18 points for the Mavericks, while Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson added 14 apiece.

Led by Powell’s 9-for-11 field-goal shooting, Dallas shot 57.1 percent in the win.

Porzingis had a team-high-tying nine rebounds while Josh Green finished with career highs in points (nine) and assists (a game-high 10).

Doncic, currently in the league’s health and safety protocols, missed his eighth straight game.

Half of Lillard’s total came at the free-throw line, where the guard went 13-for-14. Lillard shot just 5-for-15 from the field as part of Portland’s 42.7 percent night.

Nassir Little had 20 points, Norman Powell 15, Larry Nance Jr. 12 and Anfernee Simons 11 for the Trail Blazers, who lost their second straight and fell for the 12th time in their past 15 outings.

Little, who had three blocks, also found time for a game-high 10 rebounds to complete his third career double-double.

–Field Level Media